There are so many wonderful games on the market that encourage reading and writing. When I think back on my tween/teen years I recall playing games like Monopoly (reading the cards if we landed on a space that required a card pick-up), Clue (reading the clue cards), LIFE (reading the cards), Scrabble (spelling), Boggle (spelling) and others.
I remember playing games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders when I was younger, however, those games were color-coded and image-heavy rather than word focused. Now, there are lots of great choices on the market for early childhood reading-centered games but that wasn’t always the case. During my years of Preschool work and nanny work I often had to improvise on materials: to save money or to create a last-minute activity for the kids.
Here’s a fun game you could make at home for pre or beginning readers – to teach words, spelling, concepts and more. Check it out…
- Popsicle Sticks
How to Play
Write one word on each stick:
Toss the sticks on the ground and pick them up, one by one, trying not to move or disrupt the other sticks. A hard service (table) works great for older children while a soft carpet base works nicely for smaller hands:
If your kids or students are old enough, have them sort the sticks! Here, we’ve put the “family names” sticks into one pile:
We’ve put “things we love” into another pile:
We’ve placed the “social emotional” words together:
Here, we’ve got the Sight Words together:
There are so many variations you could implement with this game such as:
- Holiday words
- New Sibling words
- Faith words
- Science words
- Favorite words
- And more...
Have Fun With It!
Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in early childhood education. She's the editor of (Early Childhood News and Resources), as well as several other web sites. She's also a proud parent, avid game player, and a Library Board Member.